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TOPIC: Moving marks during a race

Moving marks during a race 3 years 10 months ago #42

  • Bill Brockbank
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Firstly, thanks to everyone for their good natured acceptance of this particular effort to improve the courses we sail.
Not everything we try will work, or work first time.

I'd like to use the messageboard as a way to collect comments, observations and suggestions. It should build to a 'body of knowledge'

Here are my reflections after last Sunday

Every beat must start or finish with a temporary mark. Otherwise the leg can't be tuned. The alternative (trying to change which marks to round) is too hairy to even consider.

There need to be 2 beats or a succession of long reaches and broad reaches. Otherwise one of the 3 fleets will always be on the beat, which shouldn't be altered while a boat is sailing it. (In the US the sailors voted for good beats over strict rules. But the beats were usually over 1km, so no boat was disadvantaged if the mark was moved before the leg was one third complete.)

Mark X ended up too close to the trees, obvious from Bittern but only after we'd already had it moved, and saw the fleet 'bunching' as they approached it. As we stand, the RO would sometimes be better in the rescue boat not Bittern. In passing, Mark Layer is now a recognised RYA qualification, just as RO is. A recognition that everyone plays a part in good races, not just the RO.

And one feedback comment. Beware altering the length of the beat by too much during a race. 'Average lap time' loses meaning if the laps are unequal lengths, and slow boats sail fewer laps than the others.
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Moving marks during a race 3 years 10 months ago #39

  • Bill Brockbank
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I'm RO this Sunday, and though these notes might help

The rules (RRS 33) allow the course to be changed during a race.
If the course could be improved, the RYA's racing charter (colloquial version: Race management should provide the most fair fun for the greatest number) may require it.

Clubs are allowed to adapt the accompanying signals to suit their needs, in our case that only temporary marks can be moved, and that signals might be made from Bittern or a rescue boat.

Here's what we'll do (if need be) on Sunday
1. The sound signal may be any sound which attracts the attention of all competitors. It will often be a whistle.
2. A flag, if flown, will be code C (Bittern has flags, rescue don't)
3. A giant hand (alternatively, arm gestures or flags waved) will indicate the dominant direction the mark has been moved, as follows:-
Pointing Up: The leg has been made longer
Pointing Down: The leg has been made shorter
Pointing Left: The mark has been moved to the left of its previous position
Pointing Right: The mark has been moved to the right of its previous position

Only the dominant direction is signalled. E.g. If the leg was made a lot longer and moved a little left or right, the hand will point up.
While it's normally the windward mark which is moved, if it is fixed and the leeward mark is temporary the latter would be moved.

While the rules allow subsequent marks to be moved (to preserve the general shape of the course, e.g moving only the windward mark would turn the next leg into a close fetch right under the trees) without further signals, I doubt we'll use this. For one thing, both would need to be temporary marks.
But to be safe, think 'If one mark has moved, others might too'

Do feedback ideas to make it better in future

I apologise in advance for always using the St George's flag. Whenever England crash out of a World Cup they're available for pennies. Since we do crash out a lot, I got 5 flags and a giant hand for less than 2 quid. Thrift, nothing sinister.
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